On this month’s podcast, we talked to attorney James Fishman of the firm Fishman Rozen. James is a consumer and tenant advocate and perhaps the world’s foremost authority on the dreaded tenant blacklist. Withholding rent is one of the primary methods New York tenants have for compelling their landlords to make repairs, but what many renters don’t know is that being taken to housing court for any reason, even if you’re in the right, can flag your name on what’s called a tenant screening report, and keep you from renting an apartment down the road. James has been representing tenants affected by this for years, and has won some reforms through class-action lawsuits and hard-won legislation.
Still, the blacklist continues to shape the New York tenant experience. We talked to James about the form it currently takes, how to stay off of it, and what to do if your name ends up in the system.